Adventure By Sherri Balefsky

7 Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences in Australia

Australia sometimes seems like a world away. But oh what a world it is! Where else can you see kangaroos and koalas in the wild or get up-close and personal with the largest living structure on earth? For those fortunate enough to venture Down Under like many of our agents have, you will discover a magical place where adventure and luxury are never far away. While there’s certainly much more we could have added to this list, here are seven once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Australia you should definitely consider.

VISIT ULURU-KATA TJUTA NATIONAL PARK

Located in the heart of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s aptly named Red Centre, Uluru (once known as Ayers Rock) is the country’s most iconic symbol. At 2.2 miles long and just over a mile wide, rising 1,141 feet into the sky, the massive rock is the focal point of both an ancient landscape and the spirituality of Australia’s indigenous culture. To fully appreciate this ancient landform, tour the base with an Aboriginal guide, who will share the native Australians’ millennia-old traditions and mystical connections to the landscape.

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GLAMPING NEAR NINGALOO REEF

Set up camp in a luxurious wilderness tent right next door to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Wake up to a perfectly prepared outback brekkie before jumping into the water to snorkel with turtles and manta rays. Dive in at the right time, and you may find yourself floating next to hulking, yet graceful and friendly, whale sharks. Spend the afternoon sipping a delightful Chenin Blanc from the nearby Margaret River region as you picnic among the picturesque sand dunes.

WATCH THE PENGUIN PARADE ON PHILLIP ISLAND

Situated about 90 minutes from Melbourne, Phillip Island is a conservationist’s haven, where hundreds of species of birds dwell along the rocky shorelines. Yet the penguins get the most attention here. Every evening at sunset, the world’s smallest penguins waddle their way back to shore after a day of fishing in Australia’s calm, clear waters. You can see them in their natural habitat from the main viewing area at Summerland Beach, which has tiered seating that yields 180-degree elevated views of the penguins on parade. Be sure to pay close attention as photography of these cute little critters is unfortunately not permitted. Not to worry though, the memories you’ll make here will last a lifetime.

ATTEND A MATCH AT MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND

Wickets, nurdles and zooters, oh my! Cricket may not be prevalent in the United States, but in Australia it’s one of the top spectator sports. And where better to watch Aussies’ national pastime than at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the largest cricket stadium by capacity in the world. Even if you have no idea what’s going on during the game, the stadium itself is a sight to behold. Known simply as “The G,” it holds just over 100,000, making it the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere.

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GO HOT AIR BALLOONING IN BYRON BAY

Located at Australia’s easternmost point is enchanting Byron Bay, a laid-back destination that beguiles visitors with beautiful white-sand beaches and a cool, hippie-like vibe. Byron Bay is also one of the world’s premier hot air ballooning destinations. On any given day, you can see a half-dozen or so balloons soaring overhead. But don’t just be a bystander of this colorful display, jump in and take off! Whether it’s a romantic two-person ride or a larger group of up to 13, you can float
gently above what is known as the “Rainbow Region,” which offers resplendent views of the never-ending ocean to the east, the Mount Warning volcano towering over the horizon to the north and the Great Dividing Range mountains spanning seemingly forever into the distance to the west.

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CLIMB THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE

There are many ways to experience the vibrant Sydney Harbour, including yacht tours and sipping cocktails at trendy waterside bars. But the most unique, most unforgettable and most daring is to see it from above…high above. Led by a certified guide, you’ll slowly but surely climb through the arches of the immense bridge (nicknamed the “Coathanger”), while learning stories about its impressive 80-plus-year history. When you reach the summit, 440 feet above sea level, you’ll be able to soak up incredible panoramas as far as the eye can see.

STAY AT A LUXURY HOTEL

While the personalized service and the VIP bonus amenities at these SELECT Hotels & Resorts are marvelous, it’s the views—of the Opera House and Harbour in Sydney, and of Fitzroy Gardens and the Parliament House in Melbourne—that truly make your stay unforgettable.





 
Contact our agency to receive VIP bonus amenities at these SELECT Hotels & Resorts properties